Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Opus 2022-142: American Babylon

I was reading Jeremiah 51 and almost had my mind go into neutral during a description of the wrath of God coming down on Babylon.  I have read this kind of proclamation before.  Although I consider myself a realist and was recently called a cynic, I am not into doom and gloom.  I tend to read prophetic announcements and then go on to things that I think make a difference.

That is not the norm for some Christians.  We often hear about how Babylon is the Roman Catholic church and the EU is the 10 horned beast.  One consistent thing mentioned literally is the fact that Babylon destroyed Israel.  Eventually Babylon was destroyed for what they did to God’s people.

The modern left is all in to desert modern Israel.  You even have a lot of American Jews who are not willing to support it.  If the United States ever hangs Israel out to dry, will we become Babylon?  Will all of these terrible calamities descend on us?  Read these verses,

(Gen 12:1-3 KJV)  Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee:  And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:  And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.
It makes you wonder, doesn’t it?  

homo unius libri

Friday, April 29, 2022

Opus 2022-141: Book Review: Why Bother

I tried a new author.  His name is Andrzej Sapkowski and the book was The Tower of Fools.  I got as far as page 116 out of 549 and decided I was too old to waste any more time.

The author wrote well and threw in a bit of humor.  I still did not finish the book.

The book is one of those synergisms of historical fiction mixed with fantasy.  Or it was fantasy set in a historical setting.  You choose.  As far as I could tell the author was well versed in the time leading up to the Protestant Reformation.  He threw out exotic names which I would assume were fairly accurate.  He understood the theology and church politics of the era.  

My problem is what I find in a lot of modern fiction.  None of the characters were worth caring about.  The supposed hero had a few things going for him:  Youth, looks and medical training.  Unfortunately it was molded in the first 116 pages of nothing but adultery, murder, lies and theft.  Even his medical training was mainly a disguise for being a wizard.  His charms and hexes had already bailed him of out several situation.  Deus ex machina.  

I kept waiting for him to share some behavior that was better than a five year old in a candy store, but it was not to be.  

I will keep looking and meanwhile go back to The Brothers Karamazov.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Opus 2022-140: Q and A, part 2, the A

Questions come in many forms.  Then you have the answers.

Some answers are right.  Some are wrong.  Some are “It depends.”  Some are personal.  Some questions have no answer.  

Just because the question is true/false doesn’t mean it is easy to answer.  Consider the issue of so-called “global warming”.  There are a series of questions which should only require a true/false answer but each one leads to another.  To get a real answer requires a series of correct responses.  At any point a negative answer should stop the entire series.

Question one:  Is the earth warming?
Question two:  Is the warming part of a constantly repeating cycle?
Question three:  Is the warming caused by the actions of humans (anthropomorphic)?  
Question four:  Does warming make a significant difference?
Question five:  Is there anything that can be done by people to change the warming?

I am sure that you could think of other questions that might be important.  Of course it is possible that none of them are important and the whole thing is just a solution, socialist utopia, looking for a problem, anything people will fall for.

That brings up an other question:  Is an answer important?  Think about a lot of possible scientific research.  Imagine dedicating your life to finding out if there are any duplicate snow flakes.  I am sure that you have heard that every snowflake is unique.  Now I am hearing that there are repeats.  Would you like to spend your life trying to find out which is the correct answer?  If you say “Yes” don’t bother getting back to me with the results.  My questions are not your questions.

I think there is a progression of answers because people are usually not satisfied with what they hear.  Eventually you are forced to multiple choice.  That evolves into short answers and essays.  You don’t believe me?  Take a child on a cross country trip and try to get away with a simple answer.  Invariably the child will ask, “Why?”

To complicate the situation, an answer that is right today may be wrong tomorrow.  Things change.  Situations evolve.  Knowledge grows.  Gullibility evaporates.  That is part of what makes life so interesting.

And questions?

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-139: Q and A, Part 1, the Q

I have heard Eric Metaxas joke during his Q/A times that he prefers true/false questions.  There are times when I would agree with that.

We all have our Q/A times.  Some live in them perpetually.  Others manage to avoid them for extended periods.  There are many types of questions and they often depend on the personality of the inquisitor as much as the desired information.  

Some questions are true/false.  You might think of them as yes/no.  There is really no middle ground.  Do you want cream in your coffee?  Are you pregnant?  Then there are the questions that used to be rhetorically true that have morphed into rhetorically false like “Is the Pope a Catholic?”

Some questions are multiple choice.  We need to admit that often the choices are not limited to two no matter how simple the request is intended.  Think of a menu when you go out to eat.  You have to make choices.  Even when you select an item, such as a steak instead of Brussel sprouts you still need to decide how you want it cooked and if you want it covered in sauteed mushrooms.  You say you want to major in music?  What style or instrument?  One of my favorites when I was a teacher was whether I wanted to be hung, shot or starved to death.  I was never actually asked that but the attitude was the same.

It can get more complex than that.

Some questions are short answer.  Some questions are essays.  Often the essay questions start as true/false, expand to multiple choice and end up being a long drawn-out journey down memory lane.  I generally don’t ask my wife where the salad tongs are because I want to eat the salad before the lettuce wilts.  If I can’t find them myself I will use a couple of forks, or, if no one is looking, my hands.  

Some questions are rhetorical.  Is it possible any more to be a Democrat and a patriotic American?  Should Hillary be in Jail?  You know the kind of thing I am talking about.  

To be concluded...

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 27, 2022

Opus 2022-138: Be Post-Hanlon

By now I am sure that most of you, being intelligent conservatives who seek out non-fake news, have come across the many reactions to Elon Musk buying Twitter.  One of the clearest statements of hating American freedom was on MSNBC and is discussed on The Daily Wire.  I think this is a good time to refute conventional wisdom.

I refer to Hanlon’s Razor.  It says,

“Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”
I think people who believe in traditional concepts of morality need to get a grip and embrace the proper understanding of that concept in modern American media and Proregressive* politics.  It does not have a place.  I suggest that we instead start chanting,
“Don’t attribute to ignorance what is clearly evil.”
Don’t make excuses.  Don’t try to be understanding.  It doesn’t work with these people.  The reason they study the rules of a game is to figure out how to cheat.  They always want to be the banker in Monopoly and the dealer in card games.  We need to maintain our standards.  Be honest.  Embrace truth.  At the same time we need to look at their track record.  Someone who has lied to you consistently for years is not going to suddenly become honest.

Accept it.  They are evil, not misguided.

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Opus 2022-137: Worse Than Facebook Jail

On the topic of persecution.  I believe it is coming.  The easy life we have known as Christians is under attack and I expect it to get nasty.

We talk about persecution but we really don’t know what it means.  Some people think getting put in Facebook Jail is persecution.  I guess it is in a sense but it is a long way from watching your children being fed to lions.  And let’s face it, it is also a badge of honor.  I am sometimes humiliated that I have never written anything to get me banned from Facebook.  One problem might be that I don’t have a Facebook account.  

Much of the persecution we face is so far off the radar that we don’t even know it happened.  I remember that I almost did not get a teaching job because I was a Christian.  I didn’t find out about it until years later but they seriously thought about saying, “No thanks.”  Unfortunately for them they were really desperate so I hung around 29 years.  There is no way of knowing how many other times in life we have been denied something we were qualified for because of our faith.  Does that qualify as persecution?  It brings to mind the old question about the tree falling in the forest with no one around.

I think that the first thrust of felt persecution will come from within the church.  The pagan pastors and church leaders will lead the charge to purge their church social clubs of anyone that actually believes the truths that mark the Christian.  If you are a pastor in some denominations and preach against homosexuality then you will be in trouble with both the DA and the bishop.  My wife is convinced that some denominations are cooperating with the government by turning over membership lists and associated data.

The vaccine mandates came close and that battle doesn’t seem to be over yet.  I remember reading about people advocating a need for proof of vaccination in order to buy food.  Think of New York City.  I don’t know how accurate the reports are but without “the card” you were not allowed in many businesses.  

Can it be avoided?  I think so.  All it would require is for the church to get back to being the church and for revival to break out.  God has held back His judgement before.  He might do it again.  

Or this could actually be the end times.  Finally.  

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-136: On the Road: Off the Road

I just returned from my uncle’s 90th birthday celebration.  It turned into a family reunion and it was of the best sort.  My brothers came and I was able to at least say hello to all the cousins I remember.  There was a constant medley of different types of foods and plenty of tables to sit at.  Someone had games and who knows what else for the children too young to care about relatives.  It was a good day and a good trip.  The whole journey took about five days.

One of the great things about events like this is I can relax and tell all my stories without worrying about whether I have told them before.  People there were too polite to correct me, to forgetful to know it was better this time or had never heard it before.  Paradise for old geezers.  A whole day without being concerned about my memory, at least as long as I keep circulating.

homo unius libri

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Opus 2022-135: Bloopers Becoming Bloomers

A famous quote is attributed to Edison, “I have not failed 10,000 times—I've successfully found 10,000 ways that will not work.”  I wonder how long he had to ponder to come up with that response.  Maybe he had to answer to his failure 10,000 times before he found the one we remember.

Success too early can be a foundation for failure.  I think of all the one-hit wonders who recorded music when I was a kid.  Or think of the child actors who went on to supreme mediocrity for the rest of their lives.  Their only contributions today are those click bait pictures on the web pages telling you how shocked you will be at what they look like now.  

Just because something doesn’t work does not mean it was a failure.  If the failure caused pain that will certainly remind you not to do it again.  If you were trying something that required a turn to the right and you went left you found the secret to success.  You also don’t know the long term effects of what you have done.  God created Adam and Eve and they failed.  It was the result of free will, was a mistake for the first couple but not a failure on God’s part.  Jesus would have been considered a failure on Good Friday but His resurrection changed the world.  

So hang in there.  Your children may be less that a source of pride today but that doesn’t mean the groundwork was not laid for late bloomers.  Sometimes it is the crisis that brings out the hero.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Opus 2022-134: The Singular Their

Normally I would stop reading at this point but I am nearing the end of the third book in a series when the cultural brainwashing made its first appearance.  See if you can pick out what might irritate me in this quote,

“The slender person - who preferred to be neither called he nor she – started.  ‘Sorry, Captain,’ Tip said, and brushed their slightly-nonregulation red hair out of their eyes.” p. 284
My alarms went off at the third word.  I remember specifically noting before that the books did not seem to be pushing any of the current cultural perversions.  That held true for the first two books and 77.8 percent of the third one.  Then, wham!  It is almost like this was written by someone else.  It is awkward and stilted.  It is also politically correct.

The first book in the series was published in 2015.  This one is five years later.  Eric Flint is a successful science fiction author.  I would think he had the clout and courage to be his own man but I am afraid that the editors pushed this one through with their progressive style book.

It is getting harder and harder to find things to read that are not filled with nonsense like pronoun preference and other cultural manipulation.  I  have been moving to classics and non-fiction.  Much of what I am reading I get from Project Gutenberg.  I wonder how long it will be until the cultural algorithms start reworking all the old stuff that is preserved in electronic form.

Censorship has many forms and the most evil is changing the words of the past.  With the right coding you can change anything with little evidence.

As the meme poster said, Big Non-Gender Specific Person is watching you.

Flint, Eric and Spoor, Ryk E.  Castaway Resolution  New York:  Baen, 2020.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-133: A Good Resource

I have been listening to William Lane Craig off and on for over ten years.  When I used to walk and listen to my I-pod I was able to put in a lot of time with his wisdom.  His website it called Reasonable Faith.  If you have never heard of him you might find his approach valuable.  He is one of those guys with multiple Ph.D.’s and is well versed in both science and theology.

One of his talks called “Does Modern Cosmology Prove the Existence of God?” popped up on my I-pad and I stopped to listen.  One of the reasons I like listening to people like Craig is that they know what they are talking about and they also know what the opposition is talking about.  That is a great combination.  On this podcast they were reviewing an article by a scientist whom I assume is well known and they were able to point out that the arguments he was putting forth had been refuted for years and yet he was acting like he was cutting edge.

This is why we need people like William Lane Craig.  It is easy for us laymen to get snowed by terms like quantum physics and not know what they are talking about.  Craig just smiles and goes on to quote the experts in the field.

Take a few moments and see what he has to say.  

homo unius libri

Tuesday, April 19, 2022

Opus 2022-132: Zoom: Don’t Forget the Difference

I am part of a group of old men who meet on Zoom twice a week.  We are from several states though most live in California.  We have a wide range of education and experience.  The discussion this week was not optimistic.  I would venture a guess that you don’t need to ask, “Why?”

I found myself wondering if we are moving into the end times.  I am not a big proponent of prophecy and signs.  I believe that the end will come.  Jesus will return.  There will be a rapture and a New Jerusalem.  My general attitude is that there are more important things to focus on.  We should live such a way that we are ready to go but plan in such a way that it isn’t now.  If you look back through history the hysteria about the end is very common.

I am not sure if we are in the end times.  I am not saying we aren’t.  There is some strong evidence in the existence of the nation of Israel.  I am convinced that we are definitely heading for a time of persecution.  Perversion and selfishness are rampant.  The people with power are into themselves instead of serving the country.  The church as the church is almost non-existent.  The preachers and church leaders are into feeling good and fitting in rather than declaring truth.  I expect to see the day when churches are shut down and believers arrested for believing and speaking about what the Bible says.

At the same time I felt a sense of excitement.  We may face persecution.  Let me reword that, we WILL face persecution.  I do not look forward to it but I believe it will be a time when we will find out what we really believe.  Always remember that we persecution comes repeatedly while the end only comes once.

Don’t confuse the two.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-131: Technology Fast

The pastor was presenting something he called a “Technology Fast.”  The local pastors’ association was asking people to get away from their electronics until the National Day of Prayer.  It is not a bad idea but it would be a bit more complex than just going without.  Most people could not be expected to not use a phone as a phone.  Perhaps there could be a time limit for some conversations but if you are checking up on your widowed aunt it hardly qualifies as addiction to electronics.  It would definitely apply to the families you see in restaurants with each person engrossed in a screen.

It makes me think about my electronics and the way I use them.  I am writing this on a laptop.  Would it be more spiritual to pull out my typewriter instead?  Actually it would be impossible because I got rid of my typewriter decades ago.  I would be glad to not use my alarm clock.  Does reading The Brothers Karamazov on my Kindle count as technology?  In a way I would love a reason to stop reading that.  I am not sure I would benefit from this fast.

It occurred to me that at one point printed Bibles were cutting edge technology.  The same could be said of so many things such as the iron plow, steel shovels and most of the tools people use every day.  How about the pain killers at the dentist?  We live in a technological age.  Picture fixing dinner without electric lights, refrigerators, stoves, microwaves, or any of the many labor saving devices we are accustomed to using.  

Maybe we should combine this fast with a daily listing of thanksgiving for all the blessings that we receive from technology.

Life is never simple.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-130: Wildflower Watch: Signs of Drought

The orderly march of wildflowers is skewed.  Today I saw a patch of Indian blankets growing by the side of the road.  It seems to me that they are usually the last to show up.  There is another one that I am calling a globe amaranth.  It is a red ball at this point in time.  It usually comes later also.

There are also a lot of milkweed showing up.

They say we are in a ten year drought.  It could be that late bloomers are grabbing all the moisture they can.

homo unius libri

Monday, April 18, 2022

Opus 2022-129: In 50 We Trust

Remember the saying, “Don’t trust anyone over 30"?  I remember that at the time I generally felt like I could not trust anyone who would say something like that.  I was not one who fit in well with my generation.  I still don’t.

We have a different application of that idea:  Don’t trust anyone under 50.  Unlike the “over 30 rule” which was simple ignorance, the “over 50" is based on solid facts.  I am not actually sure that the right number is 50 but it will do.  The age might be different in various professions but the principle is the same.

I am reflecting on the corrosive results of affirmative action.  As everything that liberals pass it is based on a combination of bait and switch with Lucy holding the football.  When the laws were first passed involving what became affirmative action I understand that it was clearly stated that is was not to become a quota system.  Guess what.  It became a quota system.  

How does this apply to not trusting?  I think I shared it before but let me relate an experience from about eight years ago.  My daughter was staying with us to help care for her mother after surgery.  She drove herself so hard that she collapsed.  We called 911 and followed to the hospital.  In the emergency room the doctor caring for her was black.  Since he was also an older man I had no reason to worry.  If he had been just out of medical school I might have tried to get her to another hospital.  

Follow my logic.  A black doctor who went to medical school before affirmative action had to be well above average to overcome the discrimination he faced.  The odds were that he was overqualified to care for my daughter because of the discipline and ability it took to get through.  Now picture the way in which schools are now lowering their standards based on ethnic categories.  There is a good chance that a young black doctor might not even be able to read and write.  

I saw this kind of thing in education.  Older women and minorities were top notch.  The younger ones tended to be the kind who said “you know” in every sentence.  

So I repeat:  Don’t trust anyone under 50.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-128: Headlines: A New Solution to the Refugee Problem

We are not the only country having a problem with immigration but Americans tend to be very self centered so we don’t realize there are people fleeing all over the world.  I was interested in a link on The Daily Wire that brought up a response being proposed in England.

It seems that Great Britain has worked out a deal with Rwanda.  Illegal immigrants will be sent to Rwanda along with some payments to help their adjustments.  There was a lot of information left out but I think the idea was to make them settle permanently in that African country.  I would have serious questions about the choice of Rwanda.  Do the terms Hutu and Tutsi ring any bells?  They are the two main tribes in Rwanda and had been killing each other at least as far back as 1952.  That eventually led to what is called the Rwanda Genocide in 1994.  We are talking about 800,000 deaths and millions of refugees.  I am hoping that things have settled down to make it safe for the people Great Britain wants to deport.  

Is this something that would work for us?  We are spending uncounted billions in supporting all the illegals that are swamping our safety nets.  Is there a country somewhere in the world that would open its borders to these people if we sweetened the pot a little?  Maybe we could help them resettle in the Vatican.

It also makes me wonder if there are countries that would benefit by the influx of some of these refugees.  That is an honest question that would like an honest answer but doesn’t expect to get one.  I personally don’t see this movement of people working.  We can only hope.  They seem to have none.

homo unius libri

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Opus 2022-127: On the Street: Some Things Never change

I was sitting in a fast food joint, killing time, reading, thinking.  People were coming and going.  It is all just background noise until suddenly cutting through the mind numb I heard, “Did you wash your hands?”

Ah, parents.  They never change.  In the midst of the economy collapsing and the deep state trying to drag us into war there is still the parent giving their offspring The Eye and asking The Question.

So much to smile about.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-126: Grave Concerns

I am getting old.  I can feel it.  At times it is because I can’t feel it.  My reflexes are slower.  My grip is on vacation, either that or they are putting the pickle jar lids on tighter.  There are a lot of great words out there but I can’t remember what they are.  I am starting to think highly of slip on shoes.

What a great time to be alive and it gets even better if you stop and think about what Easter is all about.  Let me give you a clue, it isn’t bunnies.  Need another one?  It isn’t about new clothes or egg hunts.  It is about an empty grave and why it was empty.

I see so much to be depressed about in the world around me.  I was born in California and have a weekly zoom call with guys who have not escaped yet.  I look at the judicial system that is letting violent criminals out with little or no bail while locking up first time misdemeanor “criminals” for a year with no trial.  You know the litany.  You live it every day.  I hear and see it.  Why bother getting up?  Well, at my age it is to go to the bathroom.  What is your excuse?

I see much to be depressed about, true, but I am not depressed.  When I walk in the morning I am grateful for the creation that surrounds me.  I have a sore finger.  I have nine more that are just fine.  My time on earth is limited but I have a lack of what you could call “grave concerns.”  My pacemaker is working fine but in a very real sense it doesn’t matter because even if it fails I know there will be another chapter.  As the Apostle Paul said,

(1Co 15:55 KJV)  O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?
I trust you can join me and take a momentary break from the pity party and rejoice in the assurance of the resurrection.  Maybe you are one of those who still thinks of it as “the hope”.  Well and good but if that means you are hoping in desperation then you need to get on board and trade your hope in for assurance.  

Read the end of the book.  Find out who wins if you don’t know already.  Today we celebrate.  Victory is already established.

homo unius libri

Friday, April 15, 2022

Opus 2022-125: Not a Party Guy

As I watch the expanding tyranny manipulating our judicial system I wonder what I would have done on January 6 if I had seen a policeman holding open a door at the capital.  Would I have walked in?


The reason I would not have walked in is not a reflection on those who did.  It is an awareness that I am not a party guy.  I would not have been there.  Most of the people who throng to events like the crowd coming to cheer Donald Trump are the kind of people who start a wave at a baseball game.  They are the ones doing karaoke at the local watering hole.  They are the ones waving their hands and running the aisles at church.  

I am the guy who can enjoy others attempts at being wild and crazy but not if I am too confined.  I am not a party guy.  I am not up in front leading in John Jacob Jingleheimer Schmidt.  I am sitting over in a corner quietly smiling at the antics or outside looking dubiously through the door.  If you put me in charge of the three year olds I can do a rousing rendition of Father Abraham but don’t ask me to do it at my college reunion.

I can enjoy a seat near the front but not if it is crowded.  When I go to a church service that might be full I will not try for front and center.  I will find a place in the balcony where I can have an empty seat on both sides of me.  

The issue is not my recluse personality.  It is bigger than me.  The issue is the guarantees in the Bill of Rights and the current abuse of those rights by the ruling gestapo made up of politicians, police officers and judges.  What we are seeing is a political witch hunt with a specific purpose of shutting down dissent and freedom of speech.

Resist and speak up.  The time for such liberty is getting short.

homo unius libri

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Opus 2022-124: Upward or Downward?

I have just begun reading an article at Survival Blog on home defense.  I still do not know if I will finish.  That is double true since I stopped to do some writing.  What made me stop was a statement:

“Your community’s Demographics – How is it changing? Is the socio-economic population shifting upward or downward?”
I found myself wondering if a neighborhood ever “shifted upward”?  I have lived in Southern California, around Boston and outside Kansas City before moving to Texas.  I have yet to see an area that improved.  Even here in the Hill Country of Texas it seems like things are going down hill.  That is based on the Daniel Boone (or was it Davy Crockett?) feeling that things were getting too crowded when the neighbors got within a few miles.  

I don’t see any improvement happening in the U.S. in the immediate future.  The federal government is doing everything it can to force people into compressed communities and make the choice of environment into a hate crime.  Low level housing is being required in new housing complexes.  Vagrancy laws are being thrown out.  Homeless camps seem to be popping up everywhere.  Pooping also seems to be popping.

Keep in mind that most of the people making decisions on things like zoning and emissions tend to be wealthy enough to live in gated communities and have accountants deal with the daily cost of living.

That might be a good question for people running for office:  Do you write your own checks and pay your own bills?

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-123: Wildflower Watch: Glorious Green

I know that trees are not wildflowers but the mesquites of Texas can make you look a second time.  I am referring to the green of spring that is popping out.  I don’t know if I just get used to it or it fades a bit but the first explosion of leaves seems to have a special wake up call.

Open your eyes and enjoy the season.  I would imagine even people trapped in large cities have access to a few trees.

homo unius libri

Monday, April 11, 2022

Opus 2022-122: Danger, Gurus Ahead

We need to beware of gurus.

I am not sure that all gurus set out to become gurus.  It often happens gradually.  They might not even be aware of their status.  It is possible in our interpersonal relationships that most of us become gurus to at least one person.  

My current dangers are Jordan Peterson, Eric Metaxas and Charlie Kirk.  They show up on my search lists.  They have a lot to say and much of what they say makes sense.  So I listen.  I hope I always listen with my brain engaged.  Part of listening is relating what you hear to what you already know, or think you know.

I think it helps to have a baseline for what we believe to be true.  For me that happens to be the Bible.  When I hear something that makes me squirm and feel uncomfortable I need to think about it in light of what I already know.  It is possible that they are poking their finger into an area that I have been afraid to visit or just have not thought about.  That can be exciting, depressing or just informative.

Gurus may change your thinking but it should not happen over night.  If you find yourself going through an instant change be careful.  If you think about it you might find that your thinking has been in flux for quite awhile and this is just the final stage.  That is well and good.  You might also find that you have been manipulated.  If so stand strong.

Growth happens.  Gurus can be a part of that.  Never turn your mind off.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-121: Welcome to the Party

I just saw a meme that called on us to boycott Disney and all products.  When I got done scratching my head I said to myself, “I have been doing that for years.”  

Welcome to the land of nonmake-believe.  If you go back and review all the Disney movies you have seen you will find aspects of many that are anchored in the dark side.  Even Dumbo had the segment called “Elephants on Parade” where a drunk mouse has visions of morphing pachyderms that gave my son nightmares.  If you went to Disneyland you would find the same thing on many of their rides.  When I was still in denial I went on a ride that had been “redone” and noticed that the presence of darkness and evil was more obvious than before the “improvement.”

What you are seeing now is just becoming obvious because when you let evil prosper in the small things it grows to be the big things.  I am sure that many of you have tried to grow things like cantaloupe and watermelon.  If you have I am sure that you have picked up what looked like a delicious choice for dinner only to find it hallowed out and full of insects.

Welcome to the real Fantasyland.

homo unius libri

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Opus 2022-120: Progress in Education

When I was in college I used to pull all nighters.  Remember those?  It always amazed me how much I could cram into my head at the last minute.  Maybe you were one of those misfits that kept on top of your studies.  I am afraid that was never true of me.

I finished college and took some graduate classes as I waited to be called by my draft board for an exchange class in Vietnam.  After my jungle experience I ended up spending three years in seminary.  I was a little better at studying and having a hard time staying up all night.  Eventually  I left the ministry and went back to school to get the classes for a teaching degree.  At that point I would go to bed at my regular time.  All nighters were a thing of the past, the far past.  

Why?  I would like to think it was because I was smarter but it does not usually work that way.  There were two major reasons.

One, I was too old to stay up all night.  Part of that was more of a willingness to get by with passing grades.  Part of it was an awareness that I would probably pass.

Two, the competition was not near as sharp.  One of the sad realities of educational life is that they can’t make it too hard or no one will pass.  I remember reading about high school students in the 19th century knowing Greek and Latin.  Now we have conversational Spanish which is mostly making costumes for the Day of the Dead and cooking Mexican dishes.  Additionally, the sharper students had gone into fields that paid more.

I have this feeling, just a feeling, that I could go back to college at this point and graduate without cracking a book or accessing a program.  I could be wrong.  I could be right.

I don’t ever plan to find out.

homo unius libri

Friday, April 8, 2022

Opus 2022-119: Hard Lines

I caught Jordan Peterson in a question and answer time at Caius College in England.  The more I listen to Peterson the more aware I am that not only is he a genius but he is a genius with some holes in his background.  That does not mean we ignore him, just listen with discernment.  In the follow up at Caius College he was responding to a question and relating it to some of the suffering his daughter went through.  He was commenting on how hard it is to be a parent when your child is suffering.  It is often a hard balance between coddling and forcing to grow up.

He said something that I thought was good.  I am paraphrasing but I think I got the points:

Keep in mind the distinction between “you must in spite of this” and “you can’t because of this”

As I said, it is often a hard distinction.  It is also a good point for us to think on.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-118: Wildflower Watch: Indian Paint Brush

Yesterday I saw the first Indian paint brush.  I even saw one in my own yard which is unusual.  Today they seemed to be popping up all over.

My memory tells me the Indian paint brush comes later but who am I to say.  We have flowers almost everywhere but they are spread out.  It doesn’t look like it is going to be a good year.  Of course it beats living in California.

homo unius libri

Monday, April 4, 2022

Opus 2022-117: Whom Should Vote?

More and more I am convinced that the right to vote should be limited.

People who wear a mask while driving alone in their car with the windows up should not be allowed to influence the direction of the country.  People who allow their children to sit in a class with fully made up transvestites putting on a show should not be informed we are having an election.  I question whether people who are impressed by a package of lemon drops advertising itself as a “fat free food” or people who buy a rice product because it is “gluten free” should be allowed out of the house without a minder.  My wife has been known to mumble something about how women should not have the right to vote, but I can’t comment on that myself.

Historically there have been limits on voting.  In ancient Athens, slaves could not vote.  Political offices in Rome were asset based.  In many countries that embraced a democratic form of government you were not allowed to vote if you did not have a certain net worth or income.  It was assumed to have a voice you needed to have skin in the game.  Picture a society where over half the people pay no taxes.  Will they vote for a tax increase so they can get some benefit, say a new library?  You betcha.  In a heartbeat.  They do it because they assume someone else will pay for it.  I am not sure you can blame them.

I would say that IQ might be a way to decide but many people with high intelligence have no common sense.  I don’t think that renters should be able to vote on property tax increases.  There are probably other requirements or standards that could be invoked.  It is a conversation that would be useful.  

As a practical matter, in spite of what I am saying,  I would probably be really reluctant to implement such limitations.  My reason would not be that they are unimportant but that I understand the problem of precedent and the question of who makes the rules.  Who will decide if I am mentally deficient or cognitively challenged?  Will it be the same people who are fact checkers on Twitter and Facebook?  Eventually.  That is the only thing that keeps me from pushing the idea harder.

Maybe we can find a way.

homo unius libri

Opus 2022-116: Polls

Another thought on the sky high approval ratings of Joe Biden.  They are sky high compared to where they should be.  There is no way they are believable because anyone who is dumb enough to approve of this excuse for an executive would also be too dumb to click a button on a survey.  I think of the cartoon showing a child trying to push through the door to a school for the gifted.  The problem is that the door has a sign saying pull.  Thus the numbers are total fantasy, but that is pretty much true of most of what we read.

I think I will spend more time with my Bible.  There may be parts I don’t understand but at least I know what I read is true.

homo unius libri